Comment & Analysis - October 27, 2011
George Sherry (1924-2011)
George Sherry, an adviser to former International Peace Academy Presidents Olara Otunnu and David Malone from 1995-1998, passed away on October 21st after a long illness. George brought his extensive knowledge and insights on the Middle East and Cyprus from his long experience at the United Nations to inform conferences and publications of IPA, which changed its name to the International Peace Institute (IPI) in 2008. He also organized the Simulation Exercises for the IPA Training seminar in Vienna. George is well remembered for sharing his UN experience with great wit and charm with the next generation of IPA researchers and staff.
A graduate of the City College of New York and fluent in five languages, George had a distinguished career at the UN. He joined the organization as an editor and interpreter at the height of the Cold War, interpreting speeches from Russian to English in the General Assembly and other UN bodies with great skill. As noted in the October 27th New York Timesobituary, interpretations of speeches by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky became well known for being “just as impassioned, angry, sarcastic, sardonic, pleading and furious” as the original largely extemporized speech in Russian.
In 1960, George joined the UN Secretariat, working for 25 years in the Special Political Affairs Department (the predecessor of DPA and DPKO) as part of the small team led by Undersecretary-General Brian Urquhart. This included assignments as Political Officer in the newly independent Congo following the Katanga secession, negotiating the establishment of a UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) during the Greek-Turkish war, as well as directing UN efforts in peacekeeping in Kashmir in 1965 and the Falklands War in 1982-83.
Following his retirement from the UN in 1985, George became Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College. He was the Founder and first Director of the Occidental College United Nations program until 2001, bringing over 300 students to hold internships in the UN Secretariat and member state missions as well as presenting courses on peacemaking and peacekeeping, the Middle East, and US foreign policy (I have run the program since 2002). At the 2005 20th anniversary celebration of the UN Program, Acting President Kenyon Chan awarded George an honorary degree in recognition of his service to the college. Flags have been flown at half mast on the Los Angeles campus this week in his memory.
John L. Hirsch, IPI Senior Adviser
October 27, 2011
The Global Observatory
Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question
In the short term, the killing of Godane is likely to result in more violent attacks, but longer-term consequences are hard to predict.
Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
September 19, 2014
Madani: Extremist Group Actions “Cannot be Associated with Any Religion”
Iyad Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reaffirmed at IPI the Muslim world’s commitment to religious tolerance and human rights and sought to distance Islam from the recent violent actions at the hands of extremist groups across Africa and the Middle East.
September 15, 2014
Despite Disaffection, Youth Still Engaged with Democracy
Young people around the world appear increasingly disaffected with politics and political institutions, particularly in countries where corruption is rampant and government accountability is lacking. Yet during a September 15th event commemorating the International Day of Democracy, a group of young political activists from three different continents spoke at IPI
September 10, 2014
Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914
On September 10-11, 2014, the International Peace Institute launched its inaugural meeting at its Middle East Regional Office in Manama, Bahrain titled “Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914.”
September 17, 2014
Video: Strengthening Democratic Governance in Africa